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Help for the 'Mack pack': 5K race to benefit family injured in car crash

The Daily Citizen - 1/10/2019

Jan. 10--Following in the footsteps of his sister, Nysia Mack, a fourth-grader at Park Creek School, third-grader Omari Mack turned in paperwork to join the school's running club last September.

But a week later on Sept. 26, both children and their two other siblings were in a car crash on the north bypass near Cleveland Highway. Omari and Nysia along with siblings Tayln Mack, a first-grader at Park Creek and sister McKenzie Williams, a senior at Dalton High School, were riding in a vehicle with a family friend when it hydroplaned across three lanes of traffic and collided with another vehicle, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

The children all were injured to various degrees. In the months since the accident, Jenny Mack said her children have "come a long way."

"They still have some issues, but they are doing well," she said.

While their health has improved, the family has struggled to make ends meet. A GoFundMe campaign for the Mack family is currently underway, and a 5K fun run/fundraiser for the family is Saturday at Heritage Point Park at 1275 Cross Plains Trail.

Registration is from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. The race starts at 9:45 and the first 300 participants will receive a free bracelet. The cost to run is $5 per runner, and donations will be accepted for the family.

Park Creek teachers Monica Kafka and Lindsey Morang helped organize the race. Morang said she's excited about the community coming together to support the Mack family.

"Nysia was a member of the running club last year and we wanted to find a way to help," Morang said. "We take our students to some of the local races, so we thought a race would be great. All of the proceeds will go to the family."

Morang said the race is non-competitive, "simple, easy and fun."

"We're running to stay healthy, but we're also raising money for the Mack family," she said. "We're hoping for a great turnout."

Jenny Mack, a single mother, said she appreciates all the help and donations her family has received. Family members set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses. Almost $5,000 of the $100,000 goal has been raised. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/help-for-039the-mack-pack039.

Jenny Mack said her youngest child, Tayln, is still in a "vegetative state." He suffered a traumatic brain injury and a collapsed lung.

"Doctors (at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital) took him off life support on Nov. 26," she said. "He came home on Dec. 21."

Jenny Mack said she's unable to work due to helping take care of Tayln.

"He gets 14 to 18 hours a week of home health care, he has a feeding tube and requires sterile water for drinking," she said.

Because Tayln is in a wheelchair and can't ride in a seat, the family is trying to raise enough money to buy a special mobility van, Jenny Mack said.

Thus far, she's been using the money she has to take Tayln to doctor appointments in Atlanta.

"I've also been paying bills. My rent and electric bill doesn't stop," she said. "I still have to pay car insurance even though the car is totaled."

Omari had bleeding on the inside of his brain, punctured lungs and six broken ribs, she said.

"He is still going to therapy, and having trouble with sound in his left ear," she said.

Nysia had a broken ankle, a fractured pelvis and bleeding on the outside of her brain, according to her mom.

"She's going to physical therapy for her ankle and having anxiety and panic issues," Jenny Mack said. "They follow up with their doctors and physically are doing a whole lot better."

Williams was eight months pregnant at the time of the accident but only had minor injuries and is doing fine, her mother said. Williams' daughter Aslinn is now two months old.

Nysia and Omari returned to school on Tuesday and plan to attend the race on Saturday.

Jenny Mack thanked everyone for their contributions so far.

"I couldn't have done this and still can't without everyone's help so we appreciate it," she said.

What: 5K fun run/fundraiser for the Mack family

When: Saturday. Registration is from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.; the race starts at 9:45

Where: Heritage Point Park, 1275 Cross Plains Trail

Cost: $5 per runner; donations will be accepted for the family

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(c)2019 The Daily Citizen (Dalton, Ga.)

Visit The Daily Citizen (Dalton, Ga.) at daltondailycitizen.com

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